Epic Sports asks city for 10-year tax abatement to purchase and remodel former Coca-Cola plant

UPDATED — Epic Sports, a Wichita-based team sporting goods supplier, is asking the city for a 90 percent 10-year tax abatement to help it purchase and remodel the former Coca-Cola plant at 3001 E. Harry.

Currently, Epic Sports has a 75,000-square-foot warehouse at 1730 S. Laura and an office at 400 S. Emporia. It would move both facilities to the 160,000-square-foot former Coca-Cola space for an almost $2.5 million expansion.

“I’m actually worried that Coca-Cola building may not be big enough,” says Epic Sports president Gary Proctor, who founded the company in 1998.

When he moved into the 75,000-square-foot current space, Proctor says, “We overflowed it in two years.”

He’s eyeing another building that could work for any future overflow.

Proctor says he’s also considering buildings in Oklahoma City and Hutchinson.

“We’ve got some real good opportunities in Oklahoma City,” he says. “They’re pretty aggressive right now.”

That’s not his first choice, though.

“I mean, we prefer to stay here.”

His request will go before the Wichita City Council on Tuesday.

City Council member James Clendenin, whose district the former Coca-Cola plant is in, is traveling and hasn’t had a chance to study the Epic Sports proposal yet. He’s looking forward to it, though.

“My ears always perk up, and I’m always very happy when people show a little bit of interest in southeast Wichita, and so I’m extremely interested to get more up to speed on this,” Clendenin says.

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Jack’s North Hi Carryout to be auctioned

jacksWICHITA — Here we go again.

After years and years of Jack’s North Hi Carryout having the same owner, there have been several changes in recent years, and it looks like there’s about to be one more.

Owner Barbara Moore has hired Bud Palmer Auction to auction the restaurant at 10 a.m. on Sept. 16 at Jack’s, which will remain open through Sept. 15.

“I came out of retirement basically to keep it going,” Moore says. “I’m like Brett Favre. I’m going back into retirement.”

Moore’s husband, Joe, reopened the restaurant in March 2009 but then died in November.

The restaurant and its restoration was his labor of love.

“All of that was his design, and he restored it,” Moore says. “And, of course, it looks great. He did a great job.”

Included in the auction is the longtime menu board from the restaurant, some North High School yearbooks from the 1930s and books with signatures from North High students from 1929 to the present.

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Cathy’s Diner moves into Lilli Mae’s space

WICHITA — Cathy Hetterscheidt is back in the former 54 Diner space at 206 E. Kellogg where she and Judi Young briefly had Lilli Mae’s.

The two had a falling out and Hetterscheidt left to start her own place in the former Takhoma Burger space at 816 S. Broadway, but it didn’t work out.

“It was just a lot more than I bargained for there,” Hetterscheidt says of readying the building.

She says Young invited her back to Lilli Mae’s to help out. Soon, though, Young backed out of the business and Hetterscheidt took over.

The new Cathy’s Diner sign should be up soon.

Hetterscheidt’s plans are the same as they were for the Broadway space — a Coca-Cola theme and a little something to attract people of all ages.

She’ll also begin offering a salad bar July 18.

Hetterscheidt hoped Young would stay.

“I was actually going to try to keep her on as a cook,” she says. “She just decided she didn’t want to be there anymore.”